Location: Saint-Étienne, France.

Architect: gautier+conquet.

The Couriot site is deeply rooted in history and landscape, and its importance in industrial development on a national scale has justified its classification as historical monuments. The reorganization of the museum can be laid around two main axes: preservation of a landscape offering a feeling of abandonment and reinforcement of the identity of the different strata. Two infrastructures, the Boulevard Pierre Mendès-France and the railway line, obstruct the fluidity of access to the museum and the park. The master plan provides two ways of doing so, one in the extension of rue Aristide Briand and the other at the level of the Pierre Mendès-France crossroads and rue de l’Apprentissage. Conceptual intentions include identifying the framing of the site, preserving fertility of the soils in the upper part of the site, and acquiring new plots to promote horticultural or farming activities.

The project aims to create a natural and agricultural area on Mont Salson, revitalize the urban fringes, strengthen the idea of a Park-Museum, open up the Park and Museum in the lower part of the site, diversify uses and locations, assign the west bank of the Park to practices linked to the evocation, and the east bank to more contemporary, more recreational practices. To meet the diverse needs of the Museum program, existing buildings must be reused or restored, and the site must be an interpretation center in the full sense of the term, a “society” site.

Photo credit: Florian Kleinefenn.